Volume Two opens in March, 1862 with Lee back in Richmond after a lengthy absence. He was shocked by the chaos and panic evident in the Confederate capital. McClellan had assembled a superbly equipped army of over 100,000 soldiers which Virginians feared might invade at any time. In May, McClellan began to move his huge Army of the Potomac up the peninsula and so close to Richmond that church steeples were within his view. The situation seemed hopeless, especially with another large Union army under General Banks to the north in the Shenandoah Valley.
But in late May, after a few weeks of desultory fighting and maneuvering, General Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, fell wounded. Lee assumed command. By the end of June, Lee had miraculously driven all Federal forces from the state. With consummate skill, Lee reorganized the Confederate forces and during the following year, with armies half the size of the Union's, defeated one Federal invasion after the other. But time was running out for the South, and omens of coming disaster loomed. Missed opportunities and dwindling manpower were menacing signs.
Then, in May, 1863, a triumphant Confederate victory at Chancellorsville was marred by dreadful news: the death of the one man Lee could not afford to lose.
Listeners are urged to follow battles using the maps which Freeman himself drew, and which are included in the accompanying downloadable PDF document.
Public Domain (P)2017 Audio Connoisseur